Our flagship theater here in Lincoln, The Grand (no relation), has started a series of classic movie nights where they show an older film at midnight on a Friday, with $5 admission. Last night (or early this morning, I guess) my wife, Tina, and I picked up erstwhile Splattercast engineer Spooky McPhee and headed downtown to see Ghostbusters.
I’m sure our friends like T.J., Teen*Idol and ArsonCuff who live in more “happening” parts of the country get to do these sorts of things more regularly but for us here in Lincoln, Nebraska, it’s a treat. The turnout appeared to be very strong, and the crowd was very well-behaved. You could tell everyone was there to enjoy the movie and not to dick around (in my experience, midnight showings filter out the dumbass kids).
It was a good time… but… were they just showing a DVD? And the aspect ratio was screwed-up, too. The curtains were partially drawn over the sides of the screen and the projected image was most definitely a TV-esque square shape. I’m no Ghostbusters historian (hat-tip, Sleepycast) but I assume the movie was originally presented in the typical widescreen format, right? The exciting part, to me, of these midnight screenings was the prospect of watching an actual film projection of these movies as they would have originally been shown in their original theatrical runs. The idea that they may have just popped in a DVD is very disappointing. I guess I should just call the theater and ask, so I know for sure.
Thankfully, in the case of Ghostbusters, the film is so amazingly classic that its own merits carry the experience and we all had a blast watching it. However, if it does turn out that they’re simply playing a DVD, and in frickin’ 4:3 to boot, then I’ll probably skip the future showings. Kind of a bummer.
Mat, did you attend this? I peered around the theater but didn’t see you. If I’m incorrect on any of these technical claims, please set me straight.